March 20, 1996             HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLIII  No. 1

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

PREMIER TOBIN: May it please Your Honour, the House of Assembly, agreeable to Your Honour's command, have proceeded to the choice of a Speaker and have elected Lloyd Snow, Member for the District of Trinity - Bay de Verde and, by their direction, I present him for Your Honour's approval.

HIS HONOUR THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR (F.W. Russell): On behalf of Her Majesty, I assure you of my sense of your efficiency and I do most fully approve and confirm you as the Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Your Honour, having approved the choice of this House in constituting me as its Speaker, it now becomes my duty, in the name of the representatives of Her Majesty's loyal subjects, the people of this Province, respectfully to claim of Your Honour their accustomed rights and privileges, especially that they shall have freedom of speech in their debates, and that they may be free from arrest during their attendance in Parliament, and that I, as Speaker, may have full access to Your Honour's presence at all reasonable times, and that they have confirmed on them all their ancient rights and privileges which have been confirmed to them by Your Honour's predecessors.

HIS HONOUR THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR: On behalf of Her Majesty, I do confirm this House in the enjoyment of all its ancient and undoubted rights and privileges.

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Honourable House of Assembly:

I take great pleasure in welcoming you to this First Session of the Forty-third General Assembly of the Province of Newfoundland. It is time to change the name of our Province to reflect the reality that it is made up of two equally important parts, Newfoundland and Labrador. My Government will bring forward legislation to change the name of the Province from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador. This will require an amendment to the Terms of Union to be approved by the House of Assembly and by Parliament.

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Honourable House of Assembly:

A New Mandate: On January 29, My Government sought a mandate from the people based on its election platform. On February 22, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador provided My Government with that mandate. My Government is committed to implementing the platform on which it was elected.

That platform sets out a vision of Newfoundland and Labrador where we will create new wealth from the land and from the sea, we will build a new economy based on advanced technologies, we will revitalize our rural communities, and we will meet the needs of our people, particularly in education and in health care.

This is My Government's plan for the future. That plan reflects the tremendous new opportunities for growth and development throughout our Province. It reflects, as well, the challenges we must overcome. A key element of this plan is partnership. My Government is committed to an open, on-going process of dialogue and discussion in decision-making.

Government must promote new opportunities and provide vital public services. But, growth and development will come from the energy, commitment and talents of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The future is in all our hands.

Full Benefits from Major Resource Projects: Major new projects in mines and petroleum provide exciting new opportunities to boost the provincial economy at a critical time in our development.

These projects can generate enormous growth and new jobs in our economy. These projects can be the basis for the creation of major new integrated industries in petroleum and mining. They can provide increased public revenues to support needed public services and to rebuild renewable resource industries.

These projects can be the means to achieve all of these things. But to do so, we must have the foresight to plan, the entrepreneurial drive to seize new business opportunities, and the commitment as a government to gain the full benefits from these projects for our people.

My Government will gain full benefits from these projects for our people, in terms of direct employment, skills development, support services, processing of raw materials, and revenues for the Province.

To gain those full benefits, there must be a Minister and a department that will direct all their efforts and energies to achieving this crucial goal. That is why My Government has established a new Department of Mines and Energy to focus sharply on gaining full benefits from new developments in non-renewable resources.

Voisey's Bay: The Voisey's Bay mineral find, 35 kilometres South of Nain, is one of the richest nickel, copper and cobalt reserves in the world. The Voisey's Bay mine and other projects in Labrador should yield benefits, to the greatest extent possible, for Labradorians, including aboriginal peoples. My Government will gain full benefits from the Voisey's Bay mine, including the construction of a smelter and refinery in our Province.

Other Prospective Mines: There are other current mine and quarry development prospects; many of which could enter production in 1996 or 1997. This is in addition to the mines and quarries currently operating in the Province. My Government will work in close co-operation with the mining industry to promote the opening of new mines and quarries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mineral Exploration: Mineral exploration on the Island is increasing; it has increased dramatically throughout Labrador. My Government will work in close co-operation with the mining industry to encourage exploration for new mineral resources in our Province.

Offshore Petroleum, Hibernia: In September 1990, a binding agreement was signed for the development of the Hibernia oilfield. Construction of the Gravity-Based Structure began at Bull Arm in 1990. This structure will be towed to the Hibernia site in 1997, after which production will begin. Pre-production costs alone for Hibernia will total $5.8 billion. During production, expenditures in our Province will average $400 million a year for the next twenty years.

My Government will gain full benefits from the production phase of the Hibernia project in terms of employment, services and development of an integrated offshore petroleum industry, in accordance with the Hibernia agreement.

Terra Nova: In December 1995, Petro-Canada (on behalf of its partners) announced that they would proceed with the development plan preparation for the Terra Nova oilfield. Pre-production, capital and operating costs for the project would exceed $5 billion during the 15-20 year life of the project. Production of oil is expected to begin by 2001. Detailed engineering and construction could begin as early as 1998.

My Government aims to complete negotiations this year with the Terra Nova consortium for early development of the project, with the maximum benefits possible for the Province, in terms of employment, skills development, services, royalties and other revenues.

Oil Transshipment: My Government will ensure that any transshipment facility for offshore oil is built in Newfoundland to serve Hibernia, Terra Nova and other offshore developments (such as Hebron, White Rose and Ben Nevis) that will follow.

Further exploration: My Government will work in close co-operation with the petroleum industry to promote further exploration of our offshore petroleum resources, with full participation by provincial firms and employees.

West Coast Petroleum: Oil exploration on the West Coast continues to increase. Hunt Oil and Pan Canadian Petroleum have drilled two onshore wells and will drill an offshore well this year. Talisman Resources is drilling a well at Cape St. George. Seismic programs are continuing. New areas are being offered for exploration. My Government will work in close co-operation with the petroleum industry to promote continued exploration for petroleum resources on the West Coast of Newfoundland.

Developing our Renewable Resources. The Fishery: The fishery has been the backbone of our economy for centuries. It is a central part of our future. Aquaculture requires special attention, given its considerable potential to increase employment and production.

To reflect the importance of this industry to our economy and especially the hundreds of our fishing communities, My Government has created a department devoted solely to the fishery, the new Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Our highest priority must be conservation. We must stay the course with the new conservation ethic established over the last two years. My government will work in close co-operation with the federal government and the fishing industry to ensure that groundfish and other resources are protected, re-built, and sustainably harvested for the benefit of present and future generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The fishery must be a source of better and more secure income for our fishers. Critical to this is the establishment of a balance between harvesting capacity and the capacity of the resource. The core of the new fishery must be full-time, professional fishers, who have made a serious commitment to the industry and, therefore, should have priority of access to resources.

My government is committed to working with the federal government and the fishing industry to create an ecologically sustainable and economically viable fishery, with better and more secure incomes for harvesters and processors.

Last year, harvests of crab, scallops, shrimp, and surf clams resulted in record export values. This more diverse, multi-species approach to the fishery will be an important part of a more prosperous and stable fishery of the future.

My government will work closely with the federal government and the fishing industry to promote continued diversification of species and fishing areas, to yield the full benefits for our harvesters and processors from the resources off our coasts.

The processing sector of the fishing industry must become commercially-viable and capable of providing good incomes for its employees. This will require a longer season of operation by processing facilities serving all areas of the Province.

My government will establish a joint government-industry-union task force to develop proposals for dealing with the need to bring processing capacity into line with resource capacity, to ensure that adequate processing capacity is available to harvesting enterprises along all areas of our coasts, and to move toward longer operating seasons and the production of more value-added products.

Aquaculture: Aquaculture has become a major food source worldwide. Norway has set an example of what can be achieved. From 1985 to 1995, their production of salmon increased from approximately 20,000 tonnes to approximately 280,000 tonnes. Most of this production is by commercial fishers and their families.

In 1995, over 1,000 tonnes of salmon, steelhead trout, mussels, scallops and char were produced in our Province. This is double the production from the preceding year. Production is expected to double again this year. Other species undergoing development toward commercial production include: cod, flounder, halibut, wolffish, and sea urchins. With vigorous development, the aquaculture industry can expand rapidly in our Province.

My Government will provide financial and marketing assistance to new and existing aquaculture enterprises, support coastal zone aquaculture planning, education in aquaculture technologies, research and development, and extension services to assist aquaculture operators.

Forest Resources: My Government has created a Department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods to focus on these land-based, renewable resources.

Forest industries...including pulp and paper, sawmilling, wood products manufacturing and fuel wood...account for 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. More than eighty communities have a moderate to heavy reliance on forestry for their income.

The major issue facing the forest industry is the availability and security of wood supply over the next 10 to 15 years. Ensuring an adequate supply of good quality wood is critical to maintaining viable, healthy forest industries.

To deal with this problem, My Government has entered a five year shared-cost silviculture agreement with Abitibi-Price and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, and will seek to negotiate a multi-year Forest Renewal Program with the federal government.

My Government will establish a provincial forest research and education facility at Corner Brook. This facility will integrate the research capacity of the federal and provincial governments and the private sector. The Centre will complement facilities in Corner Brook at which Memorial University will offer programs in forestry and environmental science.

Tourism and Culture: The magnificence of our wilderness areas, the rugged beauty of our seacoasts, the richness of our history, the unique character of our communities, the dynamism of our culture and the wealth of our wildlife, are all renewable resources for our tourism and cultural industries.

My Government is moving forward with initiatives to market Newfoundland and Labrador as a tourist destination, improve access to tourism services through a central reservations system, develop the potential of Marble Mountain as a four-season resort with private sector participation, and create and enhance interpretation centres for our sites of historic and natural interest.

My Government will carry forward preparations for the Cabot 500 celebrations. The federal Department of Canadian Heritage will help support the Year of the Arts to highlight our history and culture through a series of artistic events.

Building the New Economy: There are approximately 130 advanced technology companies in the Province, employing about 3400 people, many in the St. John's area. In addition about 300 smaller firms employ a further 3000 people that rely heavily on work generated by advanced technology companies. In all, information technology firms generate annual revenues of about $470 million, a major contribution to the provincial economy.

Our advanced technology businesses now form a critical mass for our Province to become recognized as a centre for this industry. My Government in partnership with industry and our educational institutions, will promote our Province as a global centre for advanced technologies.

This will require a public-private partnership involving business leaders in our Province and in key commercial centres around the world to identify new trends, and resulting opportunities. My Government will create an International Investment and Marketing Council, consisting of key business leaders here and abroad as well as ministers, to identify and act quickly to capture new opportunities worldwide for provincial businesses.

The Information Highway: Our Province is especially well-placed to build industry and deliver services on the Information Highway. Over the next five years New Tel will invest $240 million to upgrade its fibre optic network, and Cable Atlantic will invest $80 million to upgrade its broadband cable network. With this critical infrastructure our Province is "closer" to users of the information highway globally than almost any other part of Canada or the United States.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology is also the Minister Responsible for the Information Highway...and for the Information Seaway.

My Government will vigorously pursue new opportunities relating to the Information Highway under the strategy being finalized by the Operation Online Task Force, which is an initiative of the government and the private sector.

Government must set an example in the integration of information technologies in its operations, especially in delivery of services to the public. My Government will work closely with Memorial University, educators and health care providers to promote the use of the distance education and tele-medicine networks in our Province.

Revitalizing Our Rural Communities: My Government is committed to the rural areas of our Province. The economic backbone and the cultural wellspring of Newfoundland and Labrador has been our coastal communities and resource towns.

To foster development throughout the Province, My Government has established a new Department of Development and Rural Renewal. This new department will focus on the nineteen economic zones, as outlined in the report of the Task Force on Community Economic Development in Newfoundland and Labrador. To further advance this goal, a Committee of Cabinet on the Revitalization of Rural Communities is being formed.

Manufacturing and Processing: Manufacturing and processing, outside of the fishery, forestry, mining and agrifood sectors, is carried out by 350 businesses, employing 6,000 people and generating $550 million in annual sales. My Government will take a leading role in attracting new investment and promoting the expansion of manufacturing and processing enterprises, especially in rural areas.

Small Business: Small business is taking the lead in diversifying our economy. It is expanding into new areas such as advanced technology, aquaculture, tourism, manufacturing and processing, and various forms of specialized services.

My Government will foster the entrepreneurial spirit through enhanced access to small business training and counselling services, particularly in rural areas. My Government will support the development of mentoring by experienced business persons to advise those operating new businesses. And, My Government will support efforts by small and medium-sized businesses to establish co-operative networks with businesses in other markets.

Aboriginal Peoples: Economic and social issues relating to aboriginal peoples require priority attention. The land claims process must be made more effective to provide for the earliest possible agreements. Settlement of land claims is critical to the effective advancement, socially and economically, of aboriginal peoples and our Province as a whole. My Government will give priority to negotiation of aboriginal land claims.

Integrating Social and Economic Policy: The Strategic Economic Plan is a valuable blueprint for developing the economic potential of our Province. My Government will continue the implementation of the Economic Plan and will integrate this with a Strategic Social Plan.

Strategic Social Plan: A Strategic Social Plan is needed to meet the basic human needs of our citizens and to advance the economic development of our Province. My Government will develop a Strategic Social Plan following the process used to develop the Strategic Economic Plan. My Government will release a Consultation paper for a Strategic Social Plan within sixty days.

An independent Social Policy Advisory Committee will then be formed made up of persons drawn from social action groups, the voluntary sector, educators, health care providers, environmentalists, women's groups, persons with disabilities, aboriginal peoples, business, labour and the academic community. My Government will draw on this report to complete the development of a Strategic Social Plan by early 1997.

Meeting the Needs of Our People. The Fiscal Situation: 1996 and 1997 will be difficult years for our province's economy. They will be difficult years for the provincial government's finances. The outlook for the years that follow is for a much improved economic and fiscal situation. However, the provincial government's overall revenues will grow more slowly than the economy, in part because equalization payments go down as receipts from taxes and royalties go up.

My Government will maintain a sound fiscal position in 1996 and 1997 and will continue to move towards a balanced Budget during its term of office.

The Budgetary Process: Traditionally, the making of Budgets is shrouded in secrecy. Budgets involve critical choices that affect all of our people. They should have the opportunity to participate more fully in these important decisions.

As promised, My Government has released a pre-budget consultation document setting out fully the state of the provincial government's finances. As well, the Minister of Finance is holding public meetings across the Province to receive the public's views. The consultation process will be completed, as promised, within sixty days of the February 22nd election.

Public Service Workers: Our public service makes a valuable contribution to the quality of life in our Province. Our Province needs the commitment, the energy and the dedication of those who provide services to the public. Those who serve the public have borne the burden of restraint and have continued to perform their duties in a diligent and professional way.

The time has come for a new partnership with those who serve the public, to draw on their talents and their ideas to maintain and improve service delivery. In making reforms to public services, notably in education and health, My Government will fully involve those who provide these vital public services in a process of dialogue and partnership.

Partnerships to Protect the Environment: Environmental assessment is critical to ensure the environment is protected in a way that allows full public participation. However, unnecessary expense and delay can arise where the federal and provincial governments carry out separate environmental assessments for the same project.

My Government will seek arrangements, wherever possible, with the federal government whereby environmental assessments in the Province are carried out under a single, joint, federal-provincial process.

Health: Government has no greater responsibility than to provide quality health care to our citizens. New methods of treatment, an aging population, a new emphasis on prevention and the difficult fiscal situation of the provincial government all point toward changes in how health care is provided.

Change and reform do not threaten the health system. A far greater threat would be not to pursue change and reform. We should not focus on maintaining health care infrastructure. Rather, we should focus on the quality and accessibility of health care, particularly in rural areas. My Government will continue to work with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association to provide physician services in rural areas.

We need a new partnership involving health care providers, hospital boards and interested members of the public, to fully discuss alternative approaches to providing quality health care to our people. My Government is committed to dialogue and partnership to provide quality health care for our people.

Educational Reform: Our educational system is a vital public service, key to the future of our Province. Our educational system faces major challenges, among them a declining number of students and the very difficult fiscal situation of the provincial government.

Last year, a referendum was held on the important question of denominational schools. The people have spoken. Educational reform will proceed. My Government awaits the passage by Parliament of amendments to Term 17 of the Terms of Union. This is a necessary step for educational reform to proceed. It is important that Parliament, after carefully considering the matter, give its approval in a timely way so that reforms can proceed and savings can be achieved for the 1996 school year.

My Government is committed to dialogue and discussion on implementing educational reform. We need a new partnership involving educators, school boards, the churches, parents, students, other interested members of the public and the provincial government.

Reform will mean some consolidation of schools in the next few years. As this occurs, there will be special cases, such as isolated communities, where schools must continue to operate. Any plan for consolidation of schools must meet the test of public scrutiny and common sense. There will be no new school viability rules for September 1996. There will be extensive public consultation before any new school viability rules are adopted.

A Strong Canada for a Strong Newfoundland and Labrador: According to the United Nations, Canada ranks number one in the world as a place to live. According to the World Bank, Canada is the second wealthiest country in the world. Our country is not perfect, but Canada has done more as a nation for its people than any other country in history.

My Government's vision for Canada is one of unity, progress and growth...growth economically and growth in fairness and opportunity. That is the kind of country that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians want. That is the kind of Canada that will make our Province a better place in which to live.

We cannot build up our Province by weakening our country. We strengthen our Province and better our future by maintaining a strong and united Canada. The solution to national unity is not simply to devolve more and more federal powers to provincial governments, as some have suggested.

All governments, including the federal government, are seeking to reduce expenditures and eliminate deficits. This effort by the federal government must not, however, shift financial burdens unfairly onto those provinces that are least able to bear those burdens.

My Government will continue to press for federal-provincial fiscal arrangements that recognize both this Province's needs and its fiscal capacity.

My Government supports dialogue and discussion to achieve the greatest possible efficiency in Canadian federalism. We have no money to waste on duplication and overlap. My Government will take an open, pragmatic approach to reforming federalism, to maintain a united Canada and a strong national government that helps meet the needs of all Canadians.

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Honourable House of Assembly:

Voluntary Sector: The people of our Province have a strong tradition of volunteerism. The hours of volunteer work that our people give is well above the Canadian average. This volunteer service would cost in excess of $300 million annually if the various agencies and organizations had to pay for these services.

My Government wishes to recognize these outstanding Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Therefore, I am pleased to announce today that My Government will create a Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Medal, to recognize those citizens who render outstanding service to our Province in the area of volunteerism.

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Honourable House of Assembly:

During the course of this Session, you will be asked to grant supply to Her Majesty.

I invoke God's blessing upon you as you commence your labours in this First Session of the Forty-third General Assembly. May Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations.

His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor leaves the Chamber.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Law To Give Effect To Certain Recommendations Of The Commissioner For Regulatory Reform."

Motion, the hon. the Government House Leader to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Law To Give Effect To Certain Recommendations Of The Commissioner For Regulatory Reform," carried.

On motion, Bill No. 1 read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: His Honour The Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to make a speech to the members of this General Assembly, and for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy. Is it agreed that the Speech be taken as read and that the copies be distributed to members?


MR. SPEAKER: Agreed.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS M. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, it is with a mixture of pride, humility, respect and optimism that I rise to respond to the gracious speech delivered by His Honour.

My humility no doubt stems from my handicaps and the blessings of an almighty God who has given me both the strength and the courage to cope with the many difficulties that have come my way. That, in addition to the tremendous support and devotion of a loving and caring family has enabled me to stand in this Hon. House today.

My pride stems from the gift of having been blessed with many wonderful friends, their belief in me, and their tremendous support that has elevated me to this position, a position which will, I hope, afford me a tremendous opportunity to continue to serve honourably and faithfully in the years ahead.

My love for people, especially all those loving people in my district that I have worked for and associated with for so many years is the purpose of my very existence. The constituents in Burin - Placentia West are very close to my heart, as are the many residents of the communities of Epworth, Great Salmonier, Lewin's Cove, and Winterland, who up to the recent electoral boundaries changes were a part of my district but are now in the district of Grand Bank and are being well represented by my colleague the hon. Minister of Rural and Economic Renewal.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS M. HODDER: My optimism stems from the many great opportunities that I see for my district in a renewed fishery, the Marystown's Shipyard, the Cow Head facility, a trans-shipment facility and other opportunities that are available in our Province's petrochemical industry.

I would like to say at this point that I am most proud, and indeed most fortunate to have been elected as part of a team that will enable the Province to be ready for a better tomorrow, and yes, my friends, a better tomorrow is most definitely coming under the leadership of our hon. Premier and the talented group of women and men who comprise this Cabinet.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS M. HODDER: It is incumbent upon me to first comment on the issues relative to my great district of Burin - Placentia West, and I will conclude my speech with a few comments about specific initiatives raised by His Honour in his most gracious speech today. To reflect on the history is to reflect on the history of the fishery of the South Coast of Newfoundland.

The fishery dates back to the early sixteen hundreds and takes its origin from when the French operated an inshore and a banks fishery out of St. Pierre and settlements along the South Coast. It is a fair assertion to make that there is no one industry that could replace the fishery in Burin - Placentia West as an economic generator for many communities. The economics of Burin, Marystown, and indeed every community in Burin - Placentia West owes its very existence to the fishing industry.

It is fair to say that every peak and every valley in the economy of our district over the past 100 years can be correlated with our ability to harvest, process, and market fish and fish by-products. I believe it is fair to say that the people of Burin - Placentia, like all their fellow Newfoundlanders, realize that the fishery of the future will be substantially different from the industry we have know throughout history.

It has also become evident that our industry was the victim of over - capacity in both its harvesting and production facilities. The uncertainty of the fishing industry in the past, and our reluctance to view the industry as a constant major contributor to our economy has, I believe, clouded the vision of the potential the industry holds for the Province. It is always easier to criticize the efforts of others than to come forth with sound recommendations for the development and expansion of an industry that is a renewable resource.

We, in the distinct of Burin - Placentia West consider ourselves extremely fortunate that the fish plant in Marystown is one of the largest of Eastern Canada that has undergone major upgrading. The plant has been complemented with the addition of a hi-tech protein plant, the capacity of which is sufficient to handle all of the offal that will be created from Fishery Products International's main product operations. It is imperative that operations of this nature, that is the production and marketing of by-products must be pursued, if we are to be successful in diversifying the fishing industry and thus stabilizing our economy.

Another important avenue that needs to be pursued in the future in the fishing industry is the marketing and production of a more finished product similar to FPI's secondary processing operation in Burin. We were indeed fortunate to have this ultra-modern facility placed in the district, as it affords us the opportunity to penetrate world food markets that have been dominated by major food processors for years. This can only be done by aggressive marketing and cooperation by all concerned.

It is imperative for us to remember the contribution that the inshore fishery is making to our economy, and it must be ensured that the facilities that are located in the smaller communities in our Province are kept in a state of good repair. I would like to add at this point that it is my hope that the facility at Baine Harbour can be brought back into production.

It is my feeling that the fishery will rebound in the future. We are confident that by increasing value-added products, and supplementing the natural growth of our fish stocks with aquaculture, we will once again be in a position to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and economically viable industry.

While it is indeed extremely important to develop definite goals and long-range plans to both reshape and revitalize our industry, we, at the same time, cannot afford to forget our social responsibilities to the fishermen and other individuals who either directly or indirectly depend on the fishing industry for a living. It is most important that we put a plan into place that will address more positive long-term solutions to the fishing industry.

Newfoundland and Labrador is extremely fortunate to find itself poised on the threshold of one of the most dynamic industries in the world today, the offshore. My district, through the Cow Head facility, will afford the opportunity to participate in the development of this new industry with an optimistic approach. We must always be optimistic. The future, after all, is in our hands. We must never allow ourselves to develop tunnel vision, such as those already being echoed by doubting Thomases; that is, `What happens when the oil rig is constructed, and what happens when Hibernia is completed?' We should remember that the lucrative oil fields of Alberta were discovered and developed one oil field at a time, and that the North Sea development did not start production with nineteen oil wells.

The involvement of the district in the development and production process adherent to petrochemical industry will, without doubt, provide us with some of the more interesting and rewarding challenges that we could ever hope to encounter. Let us all co-operatively approach the development of this exciting industry with our sleeves rolled up, and with the attitude that nothing is impossible.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are an intelligent, hard-working people. Through partnership, we can all use this time to formulate a plan that encompasses the goals that we believe are attainable in the next ten years, and provide in the plan a mechanism for monitoring the process of the development of the industry in terms of goal congruence.

While we have agreed that our participation in the development of our provincial economy will be on a positive and optimistic approach, we need to note that it would be irresponsible of us to suggest that in the midst of our optimism we can afford to forget the need to ensure that every precaution is taken with respect to adhering to the various social and environmental regulations and controls.

The District of Burin - Placentia West has always held an optimistic view of the potential of the Marystown Shipyard. With the advent of the offshore oil development our optimism has been greatly heightened and we see the shipyard can play a major role in the future economy of our Province generally, and in my own area in particular. An industry of the sophisticated stature attained by our shipyard is rare in all of eastern Canada. I believe that the shipyard can and will provide our Province with one of the very few avenues available to participate in the offshore industry in a meaningful way. I am of the opinion that government must place increased emphasis on the production of the development of the primary industrial sector of our economy, as well as continuing to promote the advancement of other sectors such as the service sector if we are indeed to advance ahead with a diversified economy in the future. We must never, under any circumstances, afford ourselves the luxury of believing that the Marystown Shipyard can be shut down without having drastic affects on our economy.

Each and every one of us must do everything possible to ensure that the yard continues to operate and that it is diversified and expanded to allow it to play a meaningful role in both the development and production of our petro-chemical industry. It is incumbent upon us to follow through with recommendations to streamline the yards operation, thus improving its productivity and ensuring the financial viability of one of our key industries.

In conclusion, I would like to state that I am very proud to represent the great district of Burin - Placentia West and I look forward to working with the Hon. Premier and the ministers in serving the many and important needs of my constituents.

Mr. Speaker, I am indeed most pleased to hear of the many economic and social initiatives outlined in today's Throne Speech. The Strategic Economic Plan is most definitely a valuable tool for the implementation of economic policies for Newfoundland. I look forward with great anticipation to working with the government and the people in my area, economic zone No. 15. Community involvement is so vital to the survival of my region and indeed to all the regions in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is indeed time that the different needs and opportunities of the various provincial regions be recognized and dealt with in order that future economic activities, whether they lie in industries or of advanced technology, further diversification of the fishery, a transshipment facility or additional tourism potential be completely realized.

While it is vital to continue the work of rebuilding and reorganizing the economy of our Province, it is equally as important to develop a strategic social plan in order that the basic human rights of all our citizens are maintained. I am encouraged to hear of the progress that will be set up for the implementation of the Strategic Social Plan, as I feel it demonstrates yet again, this government's commitment of receiving a wide array of public input on matters of great importance to our Province.

Keeping my comments in the social area again for a moment, I would like to comment on the initiative announced in the Throne Speech on volunteerism. As a person involved in many volunteer activities in rural Newfoundland, for several years, I know firsthand the countless hours and the dedication which volunteers bring to a multitude of activities in their home communities. I am most proud to be associated with an administration that will formally recognize the valued work of volunteers all across this Province.

Mr. Speaker, We Share a vision/ Of a bright-more secure fate/ From our lands its depths and oceans/ A new wealth we will create

In partnership we stand together/ All supportive of our plan/ Realizing that the future/ Is entrust to all our hands

Benefits from Resource Projects/ We feel certain will ensure/ Opportunities and promise/ For Newfoundland and Labrador

Exploration on our island/ Could well lead some future day/ To another such discovery/ As the famous Voisey's Bay

Benefits from offshore oil fields/ We will maximize with pride/ Develop skills, products and service/ That we can market worldwide

A facility for oil transshipment/ I feel certain would go best/ Located near an ice free harbour/ In Mortier Bay-Burin Placentia West!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS M. HODDER: Our fishery has been the backbone/ That sustained us through the years/ And if hindsight had been foresight/ We may well have avoided tears

So until the day of plenty/ Conservation must remain/ So present and future generations/ A healthy harvest can obtain

Tourism and aquaculture/ Small Business-Education Reform/ Quality Health Care and Silviculture/ Are all part of our Platform

Information Highway-Gas conversion/ A strategic Social Plan/ A cabinet and a team with purpose/ Yet hearts that feel and understand

This to the Marystown Shipyard workers/ I shall not forget the day/ When I toured with Premier Tobin/ How you welcomed us that way

Bless the vessels built for Norway/With such quality and pride/With God's help and these my colleagues/Future work we will provide.

Yes, our vision for our nation/Is progress, growth and unity/And we swear our true allegiance/To Her Most Royal Majesty.

And Sir, how I support the purpose/One to my heart so very dear/ Creation of a recognition/For our outstanding volunteers.

God's Blessing on our Honourable Premier/Inspire him in his leadership/Guide the actions of his Cabinet/And all who in this Assembly sit.

Through combined talents and endurance/Divine powers to beseech/We will stand to meet each challenge/A better tomorrow is within reach!

Mr. Speaker, I will conclude by thanking His Honour for his attendance here today, and I move that a committee be appointed to draft an address in reply to the gracious Speech from the Throne.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber East.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MERCER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my privilege this afternoon to second the motion just put forth by my colleague the Member for Burin - Placentia West. In speaking to this motion I will speak very briefly about my district, the District of Humber East, and I will speak about some of the implications this Throne Speech may have on my district.

First and foremost, I would like to state that the District of Humber East is a district that, until very recently, last elected a member of my party to this hon. House in September 1966 when they elected a very young lawyer in the person of the former premier of this Province, the hon. Clyde K. Wells.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MERCER: It is a district that until today, Mr. Speaker, was represented in this House for seventeen years by the former Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, the hon. Lynn Verge.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MERCER: A lady, Mr. Speaker, for whom I have the greatest personal regard and respect, a lady who was always accessible and available to her constituents, a lady who fought this past election with great tenacity and was quite gracious in defeat. On behalf of the constituents of Humber East I thank Ms Verge for her long years of service to the district, and I wish her well in her future endeavours.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MERCER: The District of Humber East contains five communities, the communities of Pasadena, Little Rapids, Humber Village, Steady Brook, and Massey Drive. Communities, Mr. Speaker, which have their own strong sense of identity and purpose. Communities where men and women are caring neighbours and who are always ready to lend a helping hand when the need arises. Communities where families can be raised in a clean and safe environment. The district also contains the eastern half of the City of Corner Brook, which in addition to having the above attributes, has the distinction of being the site of the 1999 Canada Winter Games.

While these communities are quite far removed from the mineral discoveries at Voisey's Bay and from the Hibernia oil fields, ways and means must be found whereby these developments can form the basis for the creation of major new industries in petroleum and mining, and where these developments can create opportunities for new and existing businesses in communities like Pasadena, in Corner Brook, and in the many other communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, with government's commitment to revitalizing our rural communities, its renewed commitment to foster entrepreneurial spirit, and its commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses, I feel confident that the challenge to fairly distribute the benefits of developments like Voisey's Bay and Hibernia, can and will be met.

Mr. Speaker, the District of Humber East contains the Province's largest pulp and paper mill, a mill that provides in excess of 900 direct jobs in the paper-making process, another 925 direct jobs in its timber-harvesting operations and a further 200 jobs in its silvicultural activities. Therefore, when this government speaks of its commitment to maintaining an ecologically sustainable and economically viable forest industry, an industry that can provide and secure well-paying jobs long after the current mineral and oil projects have run their course, and when it speaks of increasing wood supplies through accelerated silvicultural programs and through the introduction of new harvesting technologies, and when it announces the construction of a new forestry centre in Corner Brook, dedicated to the management of sustainable forest ecosystems, it is speaking to the residents of my district in a very direct and tangible way.

Mr. Speaker, Western Newfoundland, and in particular the District of Humber East, is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and other attributes that are fast making it a mecca for tourism. There is the scenic Humber Valley itself, gateway to the Northern Peninsula and yes, gateway to Central and Eastern Newfoundland. There is Marble Mountain which is fast becoming a four-season tourist resort and a destination stop for ardent, downhill skiers. There is the rugged beauty of our wilderness which offers unparalleled opportunities for cross-country skiing, skiing, hiking and fishing.

Government's commitment in partnership with the private sector and with other levels of government to increase its efforts to attract tourists to this Province, to promote eco-tourism, to implement a five-year plan to allocate big game licences to individual outfitters, to undertake initiatives to rebuild the Province's sport fishing industry, and, to continue working with the Canada 1999 Winter Games Committee to promote winter recreation activities. These are all positive initiatives that will impact favourably upon the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Western Newfoundland in particular.

Mr. Speaker, the two issues that I hear most often in my district relate to the issue of health care and to education reform. With respect to health care, concerns come from two sources. On the one hand, there are the concerns of the health care workers employed at the Western Memorial Hospital and at the O'Connell Centre, who are primarily concerned with long-term job security. On the other hand, there are the concerns of the ordinary citizens who worry about the continued availability of quality health care services for themselves and for their families.

With respect to education reform, a proposition, which incidentally, was approved by the residents of my district by a majority of two-to-one in the last year's referendum, there is widespread concern about the specifics of how reform will be implemented. It is perhaps fair to say, Mr. Speaker, that while the residents of my district are in agreement with the need to make changes to our health care and educational systems, they are also in agreement that these changes must not be implemented to the detriment of essential services simply to meet a financial bottom line.

There is a consensus in my district that we must put into place systems that are both efficient and which meet the basic needs of people. The process outlined in the Speech from the Throne today to implement changes in these sectors will greatly assist in the attainment of both of these objectives.

The Speech from the Throne speaks of involving the people most directly involved in our health care and in our education systems, to involve them in discussions that will examine alternative approaches to restructuring, and it speaks of developing new partnerships amongst people of diverse backgrounds to implement these changes.

This augurs well for our common future, for while the pace of restructuring will, in large part, be dictated by our ability to pay, the resultant consultations and the partnerships will provide a reasonable degree of assurance that the systems that are being put into place will meet the basic needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

In summary, Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne puts faith in the inherent abilities of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to arrive at creative solutions to the many challenges that are facing our Province today, solutions that will allow us to be ready for a better tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to second the motion put forth by my colleague, the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Firstly, I offer my congratulations to you on your newly elected position. I am confident that you will bring the same sense of fairness, and wisdom and patience to the position that you have exercised in the last session of this House. I also want to extend congratulations to the Deputy Speaker, the Member for Bellevue, and the Deputy Chairman of Committees, the Member for Lewisporte. I wish them well in their new roles in this session of the House of Assembly.

Especially, too, I would like to welcome all people here to this House, to the gallery, and especially the dignitaries here who are on the floor of the House of Assembly today. I welcome the Premier, and congratulate him and his government on their re-election and their term over the next four years to lead this Province to what we hope will be economic prosperity and better times ahead.

I would like to also extend best wishes to all people who are back in this House and have been re-elected, many people who have, in the past, made a tremendous contribution to their districts and this Province, and particularly I would like to mention the members who were not so successful in getting re-elected. Many of these have made a tremendous contribution, and one, in particular, whom I want to single out, is a colleague of mine, the former leader of our party, the former Member for Humber East, Lynn Verge.

Lynn Verge served as a Cabinet minister for ten years, and as leader of our party, and broke new ground in encouraging women to become involved in politics here in this Province. She was one of the first two women to be appointed as ministers in the Peckford Government. And from that today, I am pleased to say that we have seven women sitting here in the House of Assembly. It is no reflection at all on the numbers; it reflects, I think, on the quality of these individuals, that the people in this Province will select people on their ability and on their performance, not on their gender, and I think that is very, very important.

When we see many candidates who have contested office in this last election, many people who have made tremendous contributions in their own right, candidates who did not have the opportunity to come to this House of Assembly, candidates who were defeated, and many of them, I know, on the government side, who ran for the Liberal Party and other parties, are tremendous individuals and had a fair amount of expertise to bring. It is not always the most qualified and best individuals who make it to this House of Assembly. I think we only need to look around at ourselves and see that that is not the case, Mr. Speaker.

I also want to thank my family, and the constituents in the historic District of Ferryland, for their loyalty and their enthusiastic support of me over the past four years in politics, and particularly during this recent election. I have been honoured to have been elected to this hon. House for the third time in less than forty-four months.

I would like to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the Address of Thanks to His Honour today, and I am sure the Member for Burin - Placentia West has done poetic justice to the Throne Speech today.

I am pleased to see a couple of new initiatives and references today by His Honour to a name change to Newfoundland and Labrador. I think it is appropriate and very important - not just a symbol or a gesture, but something, I think, that can become a reality, to give the people in Labrador - and we know they have made a tremendous contribution and they have played a very important role in the economic base of this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Our party, Mr. Speaker, will certainly support and promote Newfoundland and Labrador. We refer to it as Newfoundland and Labrador. I think it is important, that the Constitution change that is necessary, be enacted to ensure that we are truly and technically the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am pleased to see recognition, too, of volunteers, the many volunteers. I've had the opportunity to work at a volunteer level for about twenty-five years. I have witnessed many people who have made undue demands on their time and sacrificed their family efforts and job requirements to do volunteer service that is needed here in this Province. Especially a Province that is facing tough times needs volunteers more than ever before, and they need to be recognized with a Newfoundland and Labrador volunteer medal. I would certainly hope that would be a very prestigious one, and one in which a great amount of thought would be given in presenting that so we can single out the people who have made the greatest sacrifice and who maintain a certain dignity and certain respect for winning that particular medal.

We are embarking on this first session of the Forty-Third General Assembly. During this recent election campaign, the Premier of our Province implied he would adopt an approach that was different from the approach used by his predecessor. Let us remind ourselves of some of the key faults of the previous Administration that we want to avoid: Failing to listen to the people; failing to properly plan its fiscal and economic agenda, having a long-term rather than a short-term economic agenda; and failure to take an aggressive hands-on approach to government.

The new Premier came on the scene with a promise to consult and to listen, a promise to do things differently in this Province, to go out and promote this Province in the boardrooms and the ballrooms of the world, and to say that we are open for business. I think we made a start with the new $75,000 ad in The Globe and Mail, the first I think of many that are going to occur, to let them know that we are going to be open for business and that we want people to come to this Province. There was an acknowledgement of doing things differently in this Province and we want to see if things are going to be done differently.

The first thing we have seen - and I was very surprised to see - that all nine ministers of the previous administration who were re-elected are now sitting in this Cabinet, the front benches, the same people who made the decisions and set the economic agenda and the direction that the Province has moved in the past. Now they are scrambling to distance themselves from the previous Administration, to close the gap now. That is very evident in the decisions that have been made with reference to the direction in which the new Cabinet is going to move.

We are facing a very difficult two years in this Province when the projected economic decline - when Hibernia work is going to slow down, a project that was so vital to the construction industry in this Province, responsible for over 50 per cent of the construction effort in this Province. It is going to be coming to an end.

MR. J. BYRNE: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, two fish plants, I think the Member for Cape St. Francis indicated. It was equivalent to two fish plants, I think was a former quote.

The phase-out of the TAGS program with no hope for people in the fishing industry. No direction has been given to the people in the industry. We are going to see thousands of people dropped from the program in May - yes, thousands of people - and every single week thereafter between now and 1999 there will be other people dropping off it because the duration of benefits will have expired. We have UI cuts, and the new federal program to this Province is going to decimate the seasonal workers and the construction industry and numerous other industries across this Province at a time when the UI program is projected to have a $5 billion surplus, a program that is funded by the employers and the employees in this Province.

To have this extra money paid by these people going in to reduce the deficit of this country is not acceptable, when there are people out there today with the highest unemployment rate we have seen in our lifetime in this Province. We have seen poor opportunities and poor planning put forth to stimulate jobs here in this Province.

We have federal transfer cuts over all of this Province, and particularly the Canada health and social transfers are going to take valuable dollars out off this Province in health and post-secondary education. We have seen a continuous downloading and passing this on to municipalities across the Province, and particularly, municipalities in rural Newfoundland are now almost on their knees in many instances. We have a tough two years ahead, and what we need is an opportunity for real jobs, diversification, more long-term planning, and fiscal control, not on a short-term agenda, we need a long-term agenda for this Province.

The previous administration put most of their economic eggs in the economic recovery basket. We have called for scrapping of the Economic Recovery Commission. We saw the commission, Mr. Speaker, but we did not see the economic recovery, and I am delighted now to see there is going to be a re-channelling and re-focus, and I hope that the dollars that were utilized here will be used in economic development opportunities for this Province.

We have seen EDGE legislation brought into this Province, and as an Opposition we took a responsible stand in the past. We, as an opposition, pointed out flaws, improvements in that, and the government did make changes to accommodate the requests put forth by the Opposition. I think that is positive and we hope to take on a positive approach and suggestions on ways we can better improve the legislation and the direction we are moving in as a province.

I am pleased to see, that at least an effort is being made, and hopefully I will be watching closely to see how this develops, the new Department of Development and Rural Renewal. We have not seen any plan or strides to help rural Newfoundland survive. Over the past seven years, and I have sat in this House almost four of them, I have seen a decimation of rural Newfoundland. I have seen it as part of a plan in every single government policy. I have seen it in cutbacks to municipalities where rural Newfoundland did not have the economic base and the tax base to keep those communities alive. I have seen it in failure to respond to the fishery, and for four years fish plants have been closed in this Province with a moratorium and the people who worked in those fish plants, and in the processing sector, are no better informed today than they were in 1992 when this announcement was made. Their lives are put on hold and people expect better than that.

We have seen cutbacks in road maintenance and construction in this Province. We have utilized federal money on major highways, the Trans-Canada and trunk roads. We have seen only $12 million of provincial money put into road construction in this Province this past year. We will need to get on the information highway, Mr. Speaker, because the highways in this Province we will not be able to navigate. I think it will be very important. I have travelled rural Newfoundland and the people who live out there, and the members who represent those ridings know what I am taking about when we look at drying up construction dollars to keep an infrastructure in place in this Province.

We have seen cutbacks in education opportunities in rural Newfoundland, and health care almost decimated in rural Newfoundland. We have seventy, I think, unfilled positions in rural Newfoundland for doctors. We have seen longer waiting lists and unavailability of doctors in their area in health services.

I am sure the Minister of Development and Rural Renewal is very much aware of all of those concerns, and I certainly wish her well in looking at putting together a very concrete and positive plan to address many of those problems that people are experiencing out in rural Newfoundland today.

We need to look at resource policy, one that is going to enable us to get back on a positive footing, and this Province developed around the fishery. The spin-off and indirect jobs on the fishery in this Province were greater than any other resource industry. Many of the urban businesses are now suffering immensely because their sales and their opportunities have dried up because nothing has been done to give direction in terms of the fishery. We need to move forward in that resource sector and we need to let people know what their future has to hold, that is very important.

Mining has great potential in this Province. We have seen Voisey's Bay and other mineral exploration and we are waiting to see what we were promised last spring, that there would be - this mining tax bill, we are looking forward to seeing that coming to the House and what particular aspects - it died with the last session of the House - we will be eagerly waiting to see what that has to offer and to let companies know out there, as well as protect the rights of taxpayers and the people in this Province. We need legislation that is going to be business - friendly to an extent but also maintaining a reasonable return to people here in this Province. We were promised early action to develop the Terra Nova oilfield and looking forward to seeing how it fits into the new picture now with the transshipment facility that is promised to be constructed here or every effort was going to be made to construct it here in this Province and how this ties in with the other developments. We will be watching to see what happens in that regard.

Last June I had the opportunity to sit on a news conference at Hotel Newfoundland when the Premier and the former Premier announced a $100 million allocation under the Economic Renewal Agreement to assist high-tech industries, tourism and aquaculture here in this Province. I will be looking, very eagerly, to see how these funds are divested to get an effective return for this Province. I don't feel $100 million is going to fill the void by cutbacks that we are receiving in transfers and is going to solve all our problems but at least that even makes it more important to put greater emphasis to ensure that the money goes into very effective, very cost efficient - where we can have the strongest possible future return on that investment.

As an opposition we were very disappointed to see some of the expertise in forestry shifted to New Brunswick. We don't want to see this Province just getting a minor share. While the centre for Corner Brook will, in some extent, ease the pain it is not the answer and small compensation for the loss of expertise and jobs to this Province.

The strategic social plan or the social policy must be very important. While we have an economic agenda to fulfil in this Province we must have a proper fiscal control. We cannot neglect the social aspects that we are facing here in this Province and they are large indeed.

Health care - and I was very concerned to see only nine sentences, three short paragraphs, one page in the Throne Speech devoted to health care in this Province. There are 600 children waiting today for psychiatric and psychological counselling at the Janeway Hospital. We have seen our health care system slide over the past number of years in this Province and we have seen longer waiting lists. We had an announcement last June that we were going to have a restructuring of the hospitals in St. John's so we can more efficiently use the dollars within the system, to use it on patient services, to use it in catering to individual needs or promotion and prevention rather than use it on structure. I applaud that move, if it is going to improve health care, if it is going to maintain it. We were promised, this past fall, a plan - I don't know if it is an indication that with the same minister we are going to follow on the same path that we have in health care. I certainly hope that is not going to be the case. We still have not seen it, in almost a year, what the restructuring model is going to look like, where the dollars are going to be saved in infrastructure and how it is going to be efficiently used to deliver the programs and services that are needed in our acute care institutions here in the city and the ones that represent the Province. We have not seen it, we are looking forward to seeing that. I am anxiously waiting.

We have had bed closures and while they are not indicative of the health of a Province, they are indicative of waiting lists to get into those facilities and the proper utilization of those beds. We have seen a very haphazard approach to other segments in health care, Mr. Speaker. We have an Enriched Needs Program where home care was promoted and then it was cut back and then it was put back on again and now people don't know where they are. People need to know where they are heading in those areas. They need to understand. If there are restraints to be exercised in government, Mr. Speaker, the people need to know what the long term plan is, not adjusting their course at every turn and that is what has been happening over the past while, particularly in health care in this Province. The morale is low. Changes are coming by the month.

Three of the four years I have been in this House, we had to come in with a financial statement or severe cutbacks in the fall; only one Budget stood the course of an entire year, and that is not the type of fiscal planning or the type of planning that we need in this Province.

Education reform: Back in 1992, I was elected just a few months after the Royal Commission Report and I served as education critic during that ten months in the House. We didn't see the recommendations put in place, we have not seen enhancement opportunities in the classroom, the curriculum changes that are needed, the time-on-task allocations in the classroom, teacher education, all these areas have been the responsibility of our provincial government and we did not need constitutional change to address the big percentage of problems within our education system.

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if there will be ten school boards in September. Will the savings that we are talking about being referred to close to $30 million, a purported $30 million, maybe seven or eight or ten, whatever the amount is, will that be directed back into the classroom, back to enhance our opportunities for our young people to be well-trained and to be able to meet the demands out in the marketplace today?

Another particular area is in Social Services. We have seen an increase from 30-some thousand people, 28,000 I think, back in 1989, on social assistance in this Province to over 70,000 today, and this past year there was an increase in budget for social services as we see new people dropping off the TAGS Program and economic opportunities drying up out there, there are more people who will be depending on this system, and by lumping funding for social services, the CAP funding and established program financing funding together under the Canada health and social transfer, we are going to see severe restraints placed upon budgets in this Province. There are 40,000 children in this Province in school today hungry. People who do not have enough to eat the right foods; their families, in instances can't send their kids to school, they can't give them a lunch and I spoke with them as I went door-to-door in my district.

I was expecting, Mr. Speaker, to hear today that the Committee on Children's Interest that was appointed and served well in the last session of the House, one that was almost to the point of presenting the report. You had 200 submissions and over 700 people appeared before that committee and effectively, technically, that dies with the last session, I am hoping the Premier will ensure that the valuable input and information of tremendous interest to the children and the needy in this Province is re-appointed and hopefully, that will be one of the first orders of business that the Premier will do. It is badly needed.

We have seen changes in the area of youth corrections. I think we need - and one of my colleagues, the Member for Bonavista South, on food donation legislation here, we would like to see legislation enacted that would assist people to donate to food banks and to assist people out there who are needy. There is much room for improvement in the labour sector and bargaining in this Province and we hope that a new approach and a new era in collective bargaining will take place unlike the one we have been experiencing over the past few years.

To meet our responsibilities, we must be fiscally responsible. I am a strong believer in fiscal responsibility and it is important that we are fiscally responsible, that we do not mortgage our future, our children's future here in this Province. We have to moderate that with some borrowing, if that has to occur, within our limitations, and I caution the government on borrowing, it is important that we see a long-term plan, not a one-year plan of 50 or 70 million in borrowing. We need to instill confidence in the lenders, out in society and around the world, that we have a plan to achieve a balanced budget over a term of office, not to take budgets one year at a time, there has to be a long-term plan to deal with our fiscal situation in the Province.

The Throne Speech has a fair amount of generalities and no great number of specifics. Much of the good news is beyond control of this government. The Voisey's Bay was developed, and the Hibernia and the offshore oil, and many of those projects are coming on stream, and they will, and hopefully immensely contribute to the prosperity of our Province.

Shellfish prices and other areas that have enabled the fishery to maintain a dollar value in this Province, while not employing near as many people, they are very cyclical in nature. As we well know, we look at next year and the year after. They reach highs and then they drop again. In our situation we have to look at those things as not being one-time things and project a rosier picture than really exists out there. Because the picture is not rosy and we should not tell the people that it is.

I certainly hope that we will work closely with the federal government and be aggressive where the need is there to ensure that as a province facing tough economic times we get a fair share, and that we will have opportunities to move out of the economic malaise that has been hitting this Province for the past number of years.

We will as an official opposition use our constitutional right and responsibility to be vigorous as an opposition and to effectively point out flaws that we see in government policy and directives. We owe it to the people of the Province to be a strong alternative voice for the people. We will compliment government where it is necessary, and we will pursue aggressively directions where we think it is not in the best interest of the people. We will be positive in our approach. We will be team focused and people centred and we will follow a very open approach. We will foster a shared vision with people in Newfoundland and Labrador. I feel we have a team to be an effective, alternate voice here in this House of Assembly and representing the people of the Province.

I will be straightforward and honest and compassionate in my duties as Leader of the Opposition. I will ensure that the voice of the ordinary man and woman in this Province is going to be heard, and their concerns voiced here on the floor of the House of Assembly. There are people out there who say: Give the government a chance to fulfil that. We will do that, Mr. Speaker, and we will want to see a plan. We want to see one. We are reasonably patient. I must tell you we are not over-patient. We won't wait for four years to see a plan.

The Premier and his government have raised people's expectations in this Province, and now as the Official Opposition we are going to wait for a short period to ensure that those expectations and promises are fulfilled on behalf of the people of this Province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, colleagues.

Mr. Speaker, let my first words be words of congratulations to you, Sir, on your election by members of this Chamber as our Speaker. We have conferred upon you our confidence, each and every one of us on both sides of this place. Indeed, I was pleased with the ready agreement of the Leader of the Opposition once I had indicated I would put your name in nomination and that of the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chair of Committees as well. I want to assure the Speaker of the full cooperation of members of this side of the House in ensuring a level of decorum and appropriateness in terms of our behaviour on this side, and every effort to ensure that the House carries out its duties in a manner befitting all of the men and women who have the privilege and the honour to occupy a seat in this place.

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Member for Burin - Placentia West and the Member for Humber East, and I am sure that all members on all sides of this place would agree with me that they deserve our profound thanks for a superb address here today in response to the Speech from the Throne. I thank them both very much. We paid careful attention to their words of advice, the eloquent words, indeed an eloquent plea, from the Member for Burin - Placentia West to do our utmost to rebuild in a careful and cautious way the great and historic fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador. I know that is a feeling shared by every member in this place, and I know as well that the Minister of Fisheries will take the time to hear the advice of the Member for Burin - Placentia West, and indeed all members interested in seeing progress in that area. I have heard, as well, the strong commitment and the deep passion for the cause of ensuring the continuance of the Marystown Shipyard in the member's constituency.

The Member for Humber East spoke with great eloquence, and I thought, if I may use the word, with great class, in recognizing his predecessor, the Member for Humber East, the former Leader of the Opposition, recognizing the seventeen years that she has given to public life. It is appropriate that we recognize those who have served in this place for many a year and indeed, the former Member for Humber East did so for seventeen years with a lot of perseverance, a lot of conviction.

It was also appropriate, and I am pleased to do so today, to join with the Member for Humber East in acknowledging the tremendous work, public work, for the public good of another former Member for Humber East, but also a former Member for Bay of Islands, and that is Premier Wells, who sits in this Chamber with us today. He, too, has served this Province with great integrity, with great energy, and great conviction.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize and congratulate the Leader of the Opposition. He, too, has been called upon to take up new duties and serve in a new capacity and I, on behalf of all of the members on this side, extend to him our congratulations and offer him our co-operation to ensure that he is able to fulfil his duties, and they are important duties in the institution of the Legislature, of Parliament, to ensure that we will be there to work with him in an appropriate fashion wherever it is both appropriate and possible.

Now, the Leader of the Opposition has served notice that he intends to fulfil his duties in a vigorous fashion, and we welcome that on this side of the House, and we take his declaration in good faith, as I know, do all members present, and all those in the galleries, and you, Mr. Speaker, and our distinguished guests here today, including former Lieutenant-Governors and other invited guests.

Mr. Speaker, this is a new House; it is one that has been constituted following an election. We have a new Chamber in the sense that there are forty-eight members, new personalities and individuals, men, and - I am pleased to say - women in greater numbers than ever before in this place, forty-eight of us, eighteen new members in total, people who have never set foot in an official capacity in this place before. And I am one of those, and I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I am intimidated by the experience on this, my first speech, on the first day, and I suspect I speak for all of the new members when I say that. Indeed, there are fourteen new members on this side of the Chamber, four on the other side of the Chamber, three in the Progressive Conservative Party and one Independent member whom we welcome, as well. So it is a new day in the context of a new challenge for all of us.

But I want to make clear - and it wasn't my intention to re-live the election campaign, nor my attention to re-live the experience the experience of the last number of years, but the Leader of the Opposition has said some words which invite me, nevertheless, to depart from what little script I do have. I have a bad habit, I must confess, to the Leader of the Opposition, of ad libbing - it gets me into trouble on occasion. But based on what I have heard him say, I want to make it clear that the party assembled on this side of the House comprises, as I just pointed out, fourteen new members. The Cabinet assembled before you comprise a significant number of new members, as well. But we, on this side, all of us without exception, are proud of the accomplishments of the Liberal Party in government during both of its previous mandates since 1989, and we intend to build upon those accomplishments.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the job of governing is never easy in a time when the responsibility of all those who seek the mandate to govern has to be that, notwithstanding our enthusiasm, notwithstanding our desire for change, notwithstanding our readiness to put forward new proposals and new ideas, all of that desire has to be circumscribed by the reality - the Leader of the Opposition made reference to this near the end of his speech - of the fiscal position of the Province.

I say to the Leader of the Opposition, and I say through you, Mr. Speaker, to all the people of this Province: the fiscal reality confronting Newfoundland and Labrador is no different from that of any other province in Canada, no different in that matter from that of the national government. It is different only in scope. It is perhaps more acute here. The amount of flexibility we have is perhaps more constrained here. But the necessity of being responsible, of not passing on to the next generation a larger problem than the one that confronts us collectively in this place, is there. It is that necessity for responsibility, for not spending beyond our means, for delivering where we can and when we can our programs and fundamental services in a more efficient manner, it is that necessity which has driven many of the reviews of public policy over the last seven years that has resulted in the policy thrust of the government that went before this one, and will, as well, drive and shape the policy thrust of the government that I have the privilege and honour to lead over the next four years.

I would ask for the understanding and the support of the Leader of the Opposition and of all members opposite in doing our best to make progress, notwithstanding the constraints under which we operate. I have just come from being sixteen years in the Parliament of Canada. I spent a brief time, two years, in the Cabinet of Canada, and I can tell you, the discussion and the dialogue in the Parliament, the discussion, and I suspect, the dialogue in Cabinet, isn't any different. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about a Liberal Government in Ottawa, whether you are talking about a Conservative Government in Ontario - indeed, Mike Harris has made a name for himself talking about fiscal constraint - or a Conservative Government in the Province of Alberta - which took a very strong restraint approach over the last two or three years - or a New Democratic Party Government in Saskatchewan, or Liberal Governments elsewhere in Atlantic Canada: the issues are the same. They are inescapable. They don't go away whether you are sitting on one side of the House or the other. What remains is how well we collectively can work together to overcome the problems that confront us and to seize - and this is perhaps even more important - the opportunities that are out there.

Now, I don't intend to re-live the election campaign. I was one of those who gave a great many speeches every day, as I know all other members in this House did. I don't want to re-give the election speech, nor do I want to try to compete with His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor who has given us a very good Speech from the Throne today. But there are a couple of matters I do want to reiterate briefly that will occupy the government.

The Leader of the Opposition made reference to Voisey's Bay. I believe my colleague opposite said: This is a God-given wonder and the government shouldn't try to take any credit for it one way or the other, it is there, and God bless us all. I agree with him, but I have to say that we put before the people the proposition that the development of Voisey's Bay, ensuring that Newfoundland and Labrador receives its full potential from Voisey's Bay, is going to be a matter of determination, a matter of will, and a matter of some good negotiation.

I want to reiterate today - this, my first opportunity to speak in this Chamber - my commitment and that of all of the members on this side to ensuring that Newfoundland and Labrador receives full and fair benefits from the Voisey's Bay development, whether we are dealing with Falconbridge, as now appears to be the case, or whether we are dealing with another corporate entity, Newfoundland and Labrador must receive revenues appropriate to the incredible wealth associated with that deposit at Voisey's Bay, $30 billion worth of ore now proven in reserves. Newfoundland and Labrador must have, indeed we will have a smelter and a refinery and all of the associated jobs or there won't be a development at Voisey's Bay. It simply won't occur, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it is the position of this government, it was the position of the previous government and I believe it must be the position of the members opposite in all parties, that if there is to be a transshipment facility which will serve the offshore, serve the Hibernia field which will go into production next year, serve the Terra Nova development which is now close to final negotiations in terms of terms and conditions for that development, then that facility should be built in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. That is something we intend to pursue vigorously and responsibly. It will involve a dialogue with the proponents for these projects. No doubt there will be a wish list on the part of the companies, it is the responsibility of government to ensure that whatever dialogue occurs, there is a responsible, reasonable and defensible set of circumstances that give rise to the development of a transshipment facility. We are going to pursue that and we seek the support of all members.

I note standing here that there are thirty-seven members on this side and I note that that represents a working majority, but it is not enough for a government merely to seek the support of a majority on this side, we will seek the support of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition has served notice as he should; he intends to see that the government pursues the agenda and the mandate that it sought from the people. I welcome that notice by the Leader of the Opposition but I serve notice that I intend to find out where the Leader of the Opposition and his party stand in the weeks and months ahead. It is not enough to say what we are against in this place, we have to say, on occasion, what we stand for, and we will be asking that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I noted this morning that when we had the swearing-in of members, we had the presence in the galleries of all of our families and friends, and, Mr. Speaker, it was the quietest House I have ever sat in, and I have come to the conclusion that perhaps, Mr. Speaker, whenever the place gets a little rowdy, you could invite our families back.

Mr. Speaker, we said during the course of the election campaign - I don't know whether this is vigorous heckling yet or not - we said during the course of the election campaign that we would establish a Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to focus on the fishing industry but, more importantly, focus on the Aquaculture potential. Indeed, a new minister will take up duties and I know we will see that we move quickly to realizing our potential in the Aquaculture field.

We talked about a new department of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and indeed, a new minister takes up responsibilities there and we want to make sure that, just as the Northern cod stock was a renewable, sustainable resource that was overextended in terms of the burden put upon it, subsequently, as my colleague, the Member for Burin - Placentia West said in her poem, was lost to us because we didn't have foresight.

We have to have foresight with respect to our Forest Resource. We have to ensure that the demand upon it does not exceed the capacity of the forest itself to renew itself and to sustain those jobs in those eighty communities affected in the future generations. And the mandate of a new minister in a new department is to focus sharply on the forest industry, to ensure that silviculture is pursued on a priority basis, to ensure that that industry is protected and where possible, expanded, and yes, to take the advice offered by the Member for Humber East with respect to that industry.

Mr. Speaker, we focused in our platform on Tourism and cultural industries and a new minister is in place there. We are going to ensure that the 1997 Cabot celebrations are a success and a source of pride for all the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

We talked about the new economy. We pointed out that this June, a second fibre-optic network will be in place in Newfoundland and Labrador and that this Province is well-positioned indeed, better positioned than most in North America to take advantage of the new information knowledge-based industries that make up so much a part of the growing sectors in the North American economy. You know, for a long time we have always told ourselves that we cannot compete because we are too far away from the marketplace, in a whole variety of sectors. Now, that is less and less true, but it is certainly absolutely untrue when it comes to knowledge and information-based industries. If you are on the end of the fibre-optic network, you are as close to the marketplace in Newfoundland and Labrador as you are anywhere else in North America. We can compete. We are doing it now successfully. We are competing, we are winning, and we have to do more of it; and that is the thought behind the emphasis and the investment from the joint federal economic development fund in building the new economy.

We talked about the feeling, the concern, and the worry, during the election campaign in rural Newfoundland, the sense that a way of life through circumstances that flow from primarily the collapse of the fishery, primarily the reality that we collectively, I believe, all of us, in many areas of responsibility, fail to read the warning signs. When the fishery was in trouble, we found ourselves more responsive to the pressure to provide more fish year in and year out for more fish plants, for more boats, than we found ourselves responding to the warning signs that said, Mr. Speaker, that the fishery was beginning to collapse. And with the advent of technology, technology, that allows us to find fish and to harvest fish, it was possible, and indeed that was the experience, to harvest it down to the last fish, so the warning was short, collapse is what occurred, and it occurred quickly.

The primary responsibility for that collapse lies with the national government that has the constitutional jurisdiction for the fishery, but not just the national government alone, and, Mr. Speaker, as a consequence of that collapse, rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and the people of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, have found themselves severed, is not too strong a word, torn away from a traditional way of life.

Now, the Leader of the Opposition said, and I know he was fulfilling his role today, and I know he was not serious when he said it, said that there was a plan by the previous government. The Leader of the Opposition, I know, is serving notice in his new role, and I understand that, but there is no member of this place, nobody who feels the sense of pride, nobody who has even a - to use the word, a smidgen of appreciation for the history of this place, this Newfoundland and Labrador, who would ever come into this place representing any party, who would want and work for anything less than the renewal of rural Newfoundland, and that is why we set up a new Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: And that is why we have established a new Cabinet committee to ensure that all the policies of the government are tested against the reality of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, social policy is a broad envelope. There are many different stakeholders affected by the social policy of the government. It is an envelope that requires an opportunity for people from every walk of life to comment, to be heard, and to have views that are given and properly examined. Indeed, the previous government had established a process to build and to construct a social policy consultation paper, but that process was not complete. It was very near complete but not complete, and building upon that work, it is going to be possible for this Administration to put forward a social policy consultation paper within sixty days. And, indeed, at that stage we expect all members of the House, on all sides, and those interested members of the public, and stakeholder groups to come forward and comment, and give us their best views, and we intend to proceed in that regard, as well.

Education reform, Mr. Speaker, and I would be interested in hearing more. As I just said, I always want to know the view of the Leader of the Opposition, and the Leader of the New Democratic Party, and indeed, the Independent member who sits in the Chamber, as well. Education reform is a matter that has been dealt in this Province by way of the most democratic process of all, a referendum. I say the most democratic because it is a non-partisan process. It is one in which the only issue is the one before the people. The people had spoken in a democratic process, referendum, and subsequently, it was dealt with in a vote in this Chamber. I was not here but certainly am able to see the record of that vote and if I may add, it was dealt with, in part again, by the mere fact that parties, certainly this party, took a clear position on it in the last election campaign and included that position in the mandate that we sought, in the mandate document which was tabled the day the election was called.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that we have to proceed with reform, and, as His Honour noted in the Speech from the Throne, we await the judgement of the Parliament of Canada. I am of the view that the Parliament of Canada has every right, indeed beyond the right of responsibility, to examine this matter. Parliament is not a rubber stamp. The amending formula prescribed for such a change is well documented. It requires a vote of the Legislature and a vote of Parliament and just as the Legislature had the right and responsibility to examine the question in a proper fashion, so, too, does Parliament have the right and responsibility to examine the question. So we don't quarrel with Parliament fulfilling its obligation, but we do ask, given the fiscal impacts and the imperativeness of the need for reform, that Parliament deal with it in as quick a manner as is possible and responsible, and I have conveyed that message directly to the Prime Minister.

Mr. Speaker, the fiscal situation - I began by talking about it and I conclude by saying that already the Minister of Finance, I think we would all agree, has done a tremendous job of beginning the process within days of the election. While some of the rest of us were catching our breath for a day or two, the Minister of Finance showed the true measure of his energy, stamina and commitment by being out there and beginning a public consultation process on the Budget. We acknowledge that and we applaud that here today, and I see that the Leader of the Opposition joins with me.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER TOBIN: Let the record show the expression of enthusiasm by the Leader of the Opposition for the job that is being done by the Minister of Finance.

MR. FUREY: (Inaudible).

PREMIER TOBIN: The Member for St. Barbe said judgement day has already come, but perhaps you fellows have not noticed.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to be partisan today, it is not like me, even though I spent ten of my sixteen years in Parliament in the Opposition benches and know the joy with which the Leader of the Opposition now approaches his job.

Mr. Speaker, the fact is, all of us have a role here and I say, by the way, quite seriously, that the role of members on that side is every bit as important as the role of members who have the privilege of sitting on this side. There can be no distinction when the people's business is being done. During the sixteen years I have spent in public life, in another Chamber, the time that I spent there was every bit, in my mind, as important and I hope the contribution I made every bit as important as the time I spent in the government benches. I believe that and I expect there will be days when the heat will rise. I expect there will be days when there will be strong adversarial environment. There might even be a little bit of partisanship on some occasions that will slip into this place, although I don't imagine it will happen too often, but notwithstanding that, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that we gathered here - we, women and men gathered here -

We have a tremendous opportunity in 1996 - the history of Newfoundland, for a very long time, has been a history of perseverance; persevering, despite all of the challenges that confront us, and it has never been easy for our people. That has been our history, and we are going to have to persevere again in the next few years. There is no question, the next two or three years, the next two, in particular, are going to be very difficult. That is the reality. We will have hard decisions to make, they will not be easy - the public knows that. But we also have an opportunity, if we do things right, to begin to lift ourselves collectively beyond the circumstance that I believe we have become too familiar with, too comfortable with. Whether we succeed in that endeavour is going to depend upon how well we work together here, as individuals, as parties, and given our respective responsibilities.

Mr. Speaker, I believe we can work well together. I believe it is possible to rise above the expectations of the public, perhaps, that the place will quickly dissolve into the normal partisan environment, and to achieve a new level of debate and commitment. With that in mind, I asked that a couple of quotes I remembered reading at one time or another be brought to my desk today, and I wanted to share them with all members in concluding these brief remarks. Wait till I give a really long speech.

The first remarks were these: Remember always, please, that the eyes of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are upon us. They are watching our every move and listening to our every word. They are weighing us. At times I fear we have gone too far to bring democratic institutions into contempt. We have gone too far to create a distaste for all forms of elective government. I warn you to remember that not we but the people of this country are the masters, and we had better not try their tolerance too far if we value our reputations as public men and women.

Mr. Speaker, those were the words of Gordon Bradley speaking to the National Convention on October 10, 1947, giving a word of caution that in the pursuit of our public duties we need to maintain a level of decorum that shows a respect for the honour that has been done us in being given a place here in this House.

Some other words: We in this House ought to remind ourselves more often than we do that it is in fact The People's House, and that everything we do here affects the lives of The People. That great grey, anonymous bureaucracy may have no alternative but to deal with statistics and references to units of population, samples, cells, and all the other jargon of the trade. But as Members of Parliament we are involved and must be concerned with human beings. The machinations of our political parties, the conflicts that occur between parties, and between individuals, naturally attract a great deal of attention, but these are really the froth of public life. The substance lies in what we do here. Mr. Speaker, I can only hope that a hundred years from now when this House, as it will, continues, and those of that day look at the history of this session, they will agree that it was one that made the nation proud.

Mr. Speaker, those words were ushered forth on May 9, 1967 in a speech, Address-in-Reply to the Speech from the Throne. It was a maiden speech in the House of Commons, and the speaker was the hon. Don Jamieson.

Mr. Speaker, I think the words of Gordon Bradley and Don Jamieson remind us of the seriousness of the task that we have taken on, each of us individually. They caution us to conduct our business in an energetic fashion but a responsible one, an effective one. I think they are words for each of us to try and live by. I dedicate myself, and I know all members on this side dedicate themselves, to living up to the ideals expressed by Gordon Bradley and by Don Jamieson, and I'm confident that members opposite do as well.

In closing, I've said congratulations to the Leader of the Opposition. I want to congratulate as well my colleague and my friend - we have shared the occasion of looking across at each other in another Chamber - the Leader of the New Democratic Party who has returned. As well, the new member of the House of Assembly who sits here as an independent, but I know will work effectively and fully to represent her constituents as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: It is moved and seconded that an address of thanks be presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in reply to the gracious Speech from the Throne with which he has been pleased to open the present session of the House of Assembly. The members of the Select Committee will be the Member for Burin - Placentia West, the mover, the Member for Humber East, seconder, and the Member for St. John's South, a member of the Opposition.

All those in favour of the motion, `aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: Against?

I declare the motion carried.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance.

MR. DICKS: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will, on tomorrow, move that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on Supply to consider certain resolutions for the granting of Interim Supply to Her Majesty.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House I would like to inform the House Leader on the other side that the Minister of Finance and the President of Treasury Board will provide him with the information necessary for Supplementary Supply in the morning.

Mr. Speaker, I move that this House adjourn until 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 26, 1996, at which time we will consider Interim Supply.

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Friday, at 9:00 a.m.